Tokyo Disney Resort 30th Anniversary “The Best” Blu-ray Set

DSC_8894 as Smart Object-1 copy


I hadn’t planned on doing a blog post about the 4-disc Tokyo Disney Resort “The Best” Blu-ray Collection (also available on DVD) I purchased when we were in Japan, but enough of you asked about it that I decided to include it in the vote for “Wildcard Wednesday,” and sure enough, it won.

The name pretty much describes what the set is, but here’s a little more info. This is a 4-disc Blu-ray collection of shows and parades shot throughout Tokyo Disney Resort’s history. There are no ride-through videos of attractions, TV specials, or anything of that sort. Just official footage shot of these full shows and parades. The discs are organized by season, plus other stuff that doesn’t really fit elsewhere. Parades and shows may not seem like much, but fortunately, Tokyo Disney Resort rotates their parades and shows regularly. I suspect the 4 parks of Walt Disney World have gone through fewer shows and parades in 40+ years than Tokyo Disney Resort has gone through for 2 parks in 30 years, but that’s just a guess.

We’ll review the set and tell you where you can buy it below, but let’s start with exactly what’s included on each of the Blu-ray discs…

Disc 1 – Spring & BraviSEAmo!

  • TDL 10th Anniversary: It’s magical (Tokyo Disneyland)
  • Club Disney Super Dancin’mania: 2nd Stage Disco Fever (Tokyo Disneyland)
  • Tokyo DisneySea Spring Carnival: Fairies Primavera (Tokyo DisneySea)
  • Disney’s Easter Wonderland (Tokyo Disneyland)
  • BraviSEAmo! (Tokyo DisneySea)

Disc 2 – Summer & Disney’s Dreams on Parade “Moving On”

  • Mickey Mania (Tokyo Disneyland)
  • Blazing Rhythms (Tokyo Disneyland)
  • Cool The Heat! (Tokyo Disneyland)
  • Bon Fire Dance (Tokyo DisneySea)
  • Disney’s Dreams on Parade “Moving On” (Tokyo Disneyland)

Disc 3 – Fall & One Man’s Dream

  • Haunted Rockin’ Street (Tokyo Disneyland)
  • Mysterious Masquerade (Tokyo DisneySea)
  • Disney’s Halloween Street “Welcome to Spookyville” (Tokyo Disneyland)
  • TDS 10th Anniversary: “Be Magical!” (Tokyo DisneySea)
  • One Man’s Dream (Tokyo Disneyland)

Disc 4 – Winter & Electrical Parade

  • Cinderellabration: Lights of Romance (Tokyo Disneyland)
  • Disney’s Rhythms of the World (Tokyo DisneySea)
  • Mickey’s Jolly Snowtime (Tokyo Disneyland)
  • Candlelight Reflections (Tokyo DisneySea)
  • Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade (Tokyo Disneyland)

Review

DSC_8909 as Smart Object-1 copy

The content on these discs is out of this world. My initial hesitation in purchasing was due to price ($200), which seemed steep given that I had no history or emotional attachment to these shows and parades. As I watched the discs, I quickly discovered that didn’t matter, and by the time I got to BraviSEAmo! on disc 1, I was hooked. (By the way, any fan of Illuminations owes it to themselves to see BraviSEAmo–the score is by Gavin Greenaway, who also score Illuminations and Tapestry of Dreams.)

The quality of the videos is impressive. Most are shot from multiple angles, including vantages to which ordinary guests wouldn’t have access. This dynamic camera in many of the videos makes them more engaging than an ordinary fan-made theme park video. While I love sites like Martin’s Vids, even the best of his videos can’t compete with the quality of the footage here. (And that’s not a knock on fan releases–it’s unreasonable to expect a fan video to compete with an official release given that fans lack the necessary access.) Most of the newer content is in high def, but older content is in standard def. I wouldn’t say the Blu-ray is necessary here (the DVD is cheaper), but I’m glad opted for it over the DVD set. If you want to save some money, I don’t think you’ll be missing much by purchasing the DVD.

As for the substance of the videos, as I hinted at before…it’s incredible. The seasonal celebrations, especially, will make you wish the Tokyo parks were your “home” parks. As we watched one of the shows from Tokyo Disneyland’s 10th Anniversary, both Sarah and I noted that we’ve never seen that technically-complex of a Cinderella Castle stage show at Walt Disney World…and that show was from 1992! The Easter material was similarly impressive–that parade is spectacular. Same goes for the Halloween content. At the other end of the spectrum, “Disco Fever” is a show that will make you think, “what the heck?!”

In addition to the great videos, there are also photos you can view on the discs. Given the little historical content concerning Tokyo Disneyland’s early years available online in English, these are particularly cool. I could go for a whole Blu-ray of stock photos!

As awesome as this set is, it ultimately made me sad. Not only because I will never get to see in person so much of this entertainment that is absolutely stunning on video, but also in that Walt Disney World and Disneyland seem completely unwilling to release something comparable. With regard to the former, I guess I’m just happy that we started visiting while we’re still young (well, we think we’re young) rather than waiting until we’re older and missing out on even more. Tokyo has gone from a “once in a lifetime” trip for us to our top Disney vacation destination that we’ll save and sacrifice to visit, with the US parks now being options for weekend trips, but probably not extended vacations.

With regard to the latter, given the number of DVD, CD, and Blu-ray releases Tokyo Disney Resort sells, I can only imagine the money the US parks are losing out on by not offering expanded slates of releases. It’s not a cultural thing with media being more popular in Japan. The US parks could benefit by digital content distribution, allowing more copies to be sold while taking up less shelf space. It seems like such a lost opportunity, and it really aggravates me, especially considering that many of my favorite Disney attractions, shows, and parades are now extinct. I know I’m not the only one, and I think there are a number of us who want more Disney parks media to be released so that we can tell Disney, “shut up and take my money!

Buying It

DSC_8896 as Smart Object-1 copy

The retails at approximately $200 USD, give or take depending upon the exchange rate, and is sold in Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo DisneySea, and Ikspiari, as well as a number of other retailers. You might be thinking that all of this does you little good, as you’re not visiting Tokyo Disney Resort anytime soon, so you can’t purchase this set. Through the magic of the internet, you can purchase it!

Americans can order off of Amazon Japan, where the Blu-ray set is around $150 USD plus shipping. The DVD set is also available for around $120 (make sure you have a region-free player). This is what I recommend doing, as it’s the cheapest method of obtaining the set in the US, even with Amazon.jp’s steep US shipping. We paid more at the park than the total from Amazon.jp including shipping. The only downside is that Amazon.jp is in…you guessed it…Japanese. Amazon has a “Click Here to View in English” button that makes the whole process a breeze. If that doesn’t work for some reason, use Google Chrome, as it can automatically translate the pages for you.

This Japanese-based eBay reseller also sells the set, but at the full price you pay in Japan. So unless you really hate Amazon, I wouldn’t recommend ordering from eBay.

Overall, the Tokyo Disney Resort 30th Anniversary Blu-ray isn’t going to be for everyone. First, it’s expensive. Second, not everyone is interested in this type of video. If you wouldn’t buy a set like this for the US parks, you probably shouldn’t buy one for the Tokyo parks. There’s no current footage, so this has no value to those planning trips, it’s really only worth purchasing if you’re a Disney parks nut who is interested in all of the Disney theme parks. If that describes you, you’ll love this set.

To read our comprehensive thoughts on Tokyo Disney Resort (plus 500+ photos), check out our Tokyo Disney Resort Trip Report.

Your Thoughts…

Do you own the Tokyo Disney Resort 30th Anniversary Blu-ray or DVD set? Planning on buying it? Hearing from you is half the fun, so please share your thoughts in the comments!

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12 Responses to “Tokyo Disney Resort 30th Anniversary “The Best” Blu-ray Set”

  1. John says:

    I keep trying to you about the Blu Rays of Wishes, Fantasmic, Illumination and World of Color….But “Meeeooowwww I don’t really care for videos…”

    • Tom Bricker says:

      I don’t care for videos of attractions I can still see in person. I’d love to have videos of extinct Walt Disney World attractions.

  2. Kevin says:

    “If that doesn’t work for some reason, use Google Chrome, as it can automatically translate the pages for you”… We live in the future! (The quality of Google’s translations astounds me.)

    For what it’s worth, Wikipedia lists the Magic Kingdom as having 31 parades (including holiday parades) over its history. Not too shabby.

    I would love to see something like this for WDW. I remember seeing Share a Dream Come True from visiting in 2002, but aside from some snapshots I remember nothing about Spectromagic. From our 1996 honeymoon and childhood trips, I have no memory.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      I thought that 31 number seemed very generous, so I looked at the Wikipedia page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_Kingdom_Parade) and saw that a number of those parades are the same parade, just with different names. Others I’m not so sure I’d classify as a parade (like the trolley show). In any case, it has still had more than I expected!

      Totally agree, though. There are so many things from WDW that I’d love to see (SpectroMagic included) official videos of. I have to think that Disney has archival footage of all this stuff, it’s only a matter of editing, packaging, and releasing it!

  3. Steve says:

    Thank you so much for this review. It’s always difficult to tell whether these sorts of things are worth it. I have just ordered a copy, and can’t wait to watch it.

  4. Steve (again) says:

    One thing to potentially watch out for is the region encoding on the disks. The DVD is listed as being Region 2 (i.e. OK for Europe, but not USA). The Blu-Ray is listed as Region A (i.e. OK for USA, but not Europe). I’m not sure how true this is, but that’s what the website says anyway. I’ve just hastily cancelled my Blu-Ray order (I’m in the UK) and ordered the DVD instead.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Ahh…I totally forgot about this, sorry! Our DVD player is region-free, so I don’t often think about this. I’ve gone back and edited. Thanks for the tip!

  5. mitch says:

    “Tokyo has gone from a “once in a lifetime” trip for us to our top Disney vacation destination that we’ll save and sacrifice to visit, with the US parks now being options for weekend trips, but probably not extended vacations.”

    I wondered when your enthusiasm for WDW and DL would dwindle to this point.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Our enthusiasm for WDW and DL hasn’t dwindled at all, surprisingly. It’s just a matter of not being able to visit Tokyo in a weekend, whereas we can do that with both WDW and DL.

      A lot of our current enthusiasm for WDW is driven by nostalgia and a few specific things. I find Epcot, overall, currently very lacking, but I absolutely love World Showcase and Illuminations. Same goes with a few attractions in the Magic Kingdom. Those things alone are huge draws for us. Visiting Tokyo has really made a lot of WDW’s flaws even more visible to us, but it’s still a great place, all things considered. It just could be a lot better.

      • Mitch says:

        I’d certainly sacrifice longer WDW trips to go to Tokyo or Paris. I love the US parks as much as any place on this earth, but I often wonder at what point it would get “old” for us because it seems like it never will!

  6. JB Meier says:

    Fun and informative edutainment as always, Tom. I might have to include this Blu-ray in my letter to Santa as I strive to become better versed in all this Disney, past, present and Future World.

    Speaking of old(er) DVDs of US park shows, what is your take on Jeff Lange’s DVDs? Have tried seeking out reviews but haven’t stumbled upon anything too reliable yet.

    -JB-

    • Tom Bricker says:

      I think the only Jeff Lange DVD I’ve watched is the Journey into Imagination one. I have no clue if they’re good or bad, but I generally don’t want to pay for them when it seems like Martin offers substantially the same thing for free.

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